The pace of Syrian refugees entering the U.S. has surged in recent weeks, government figures show, putting the Obama administration on track to meet its target of admitting 10,000 Syrian refugees before the end of September -– and reviving Republican concerns about the security implications.
State Department reports show that 2,340 Syrian refugees arrived last month in the United States.
That’s more than what occurred during the entire seven months after President Obama directed his team to prepare for 10,000 admissions from the war-torn country. Total admissions for the current budget year, which ends Sept. 30, now come to about 7,900, and the vast majority of them are Sunni Muslims, records show.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said earlier this week the U.S. is on track to meet the 10,000-refugee goal.
If the pace from June and July continues this month, the target should be reached with a couple of weeks to spare, before Obama heads to the United Nations to urge world leaders to admit more refugees and increase funding for relief organizations.
But amid new predictions from FBI Director James Comey of a “terrorist diaspora out of Syria,” some Republicans are ramping up warnings that the flow of refugees poses a threat to America and Western Europe.
Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., urged President Obama in a letter Thursday to “immediately stop accepting Syrian